Whats better for media encoding?


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Political Access
7 Oct 2004
a Xeon or a core 2 duo processor?
Good question. Most high end workstations (designed for such purposes) ship with high end Xeon processors. I would wait on quad core Xeon's though.
I would go with C2D. Quad Core CPU's, while sexy, won't be cost effective for at least 1-2 years IMO. Similar to 64-bit processors when they first came out, there just aren't any applications/programs that will be able to take advantage of all 4 cores.
Xeon 5000 series are C2D's on steroids so to speak :)

Quad Cores make a massive difference to media encoding. But not much use beyond that.
the core 2 duo.

i wouldn't be utilizing 4 cores on anything but high definition video, however. most encoders use 4 threads via slices, output will take a compressibility hit with every core. imo no more than two at dvd resolutions
this is for professional use, we are going to start encoding for mpg4 and wmv's at high resolutions so i need something that can process them fast, my 940 d is ok, but i need something better.
Quad core would serve you well for what you are wanting to do. If you are doing video editing and rendering as well you will see huge increases.
Don't get me wrong, I agree that Quad Core is on the higher end (obviously).

My only concern is cost difference (not sure off top of my head) versus performance gain. I don't do a whole lot of encoding, hardly any at all, but I would think the difference in cost versus what is gained just isn't worth it until the actual software can take full advantage of the quad cores.

I'd like to see some real world benchmarks though comparing the two. Seem to remember reading an article saying that the C2D EE QX6800 is better than some of the Quad Cores, will try to find that article if I remember where I saw it...
encoding does and always will take full advantage of all the cores you can throw at it.

The Xeon 5000 series is the core 2 duo with higher bus speed and different pinout and with multi processor support so you can have n-way dual core xeons in a box :)
I still say wait a bit on quad core processors. The next batch will blow away the current offerings.
i think i'll look at the zeons, but they are so much more expensive than the core 2 duos
they also have a touch more brute force than the duo's. They are based on the same core (if you get xeon 5000 series) but with the increased cache and FSB clocks and the ability to put more than one physical chip on board your only limit on processing muscle is your budget.

IF your budget doesn't reach that far then a core 2 duo or quadro on a 64bit os with 64bit encoders, should let you steam through most encoding without breaking a sweat :)

Heck a core 2 duo can encode a dvd, decode a dvd and burn a dvd and only hit 69% total cpu usage according to task manager :)
a core 2 duo can encode a dvd, decode a dvd and burn a dvd and only hit 69% total cpu usage according to task manager

only the encoding should noticeably affect cpu load, the other two utilize graphics card and hard disk/dvd writer respectively. may i ask what application you are encoding with? :)

i really want a core 2 duo, don't think my better half will let me get one :(
odd, since dvd shrink is multi-threaded, it should use at least 90%+ of your cpu, and close to 100% during deep analysis. but it would depend on source & destination drives or hard disk load, and amount of compression applied.
i use different ones, adobe premiere and a program called autodesk cleaner xl
the new Quad coming out next year - if you can afford it - should achieve at least 30% increases on the fastest duos you can get now.... So I think I would wait for that (there's something quite exciting about quad to me... not sure why....)
Fastest CPU

what would be faster at video encoding, a Xeon 5160 dual core, X6800 or a QX6700?

Please don't start a new thread for the same question, thanks.

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